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Inspiration, not Imitation.

David Sherry
2 min read

When we don't know what to do.

When we don't know what to say.

When we don't know how to start.

We mimic another.

We copy a method.

And we do so, out of fear.

We believe that if we are simply to try something on our own it will surely fail.

And because we're scared to fail, we feel we need guidance.

So we pick up a template and try to copy it.

But in the process of copying it...we fail. And we fail many times again before we succeed.

Now, if you were to go out on your own, and develop yourself without any copying of what should be done...

You would also fail.

And you would continue to fail, possibly more times than someone who is "learning" from someone else.


When you find success on your own, you find incredible, lasting success.

You have learned to understand for yourself, rather than by copying another. You would miss the nuance and you would miss out on finding something truly unique to the world.

Take for example, a competition to build a fire:

You're scared that yours won't start, or it will be done "wrong."

So after you are handed matches, you and the others you are competing against look around.

You see the teepee shape.

You see the log cabin.

And you copy.

And suddenly everyone in the competition is creating the teepee shape and trying to out-teepee one another.

Someone is crowned the winner, and you compete again.

Now, say that you have never built a fire.

And you don't look around at all.

In the first competition, you'd try a teepee. (And you'd lose).

In the second you'd try a log cabin. (And you'd lose).

In the third you'd try all of the logs flat. (And you'd lose).

But in the fourth'd try the pyramid.

The pyramid is different in that you don't give the wood space, in fact, you pack it as tightly together as you can.

The pyramid is lit from the top, rather than lit from the bottom.

The pyramid burns down, instead of burns up.

But because of this shape, it is the most efficient, longest lasting, and strongest fire that you can build.

In the fourth competition you win.

And your ingenuity produces a result that is 5 times more effective than anyone else.

If you had only copied, you'd grow up perfecting the teepee. And you'd find success someday, with the teepee.

And you'd constantly compete against others perfecting something that is an imperfect solution.

If you go out on your own, you'd discover the pyramid. And you'd win so greatly, that others would say you have cheated.

If you strike out on your own,

Copy others at your own peril.

You will fail, and then find success.

And then you will be trapped by competition.

Strike out on your own and you will fail.

But when you succeed, you will succeed under a sturdy foundation that will last.

At first your success will be dismissed.

And then others will start to mimic YOU…


xx David

Mastery and Craft